John Ettinger's Recovery Fund

$21,472 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 218 people in 17 months
Created February 26, 2018
On the morning of February 18th, my father, John Ettinger was struck by a car while going for a run in Bloomington, Indiana. He was hit hard enough to be thrown into the middle of the street, where thankfully a police officer was nearby and able to call for paramedics. My mother, Deb, and my sister Marcella had gone out to pick up coffee and happened to pass by the scene of the accident on their way back, where they saw Dad injured in the middle of West 3rd Street. They immediately got out of the car to check on him and then followed him to the hospital in Bloomington.

Paramedics quickly realized that Dad was very seriously injured. He couldn't move the left side of his body. The initial assessment when he reached the hospital showed that he had no major broken bones, but a CT scan showed that he had sustained a very serious brain injury and there was significant bleeding in his brain. A few hours later, another CT scan showed that the bleeding was continuing. The neurologists in Bloomington feared he might need emergency surgery and Dad was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. At this point, none of us were sure Dad would make it through the night. The injury was so severe that the doctors couldn't make any promises.

My Mom, Miranda and Marcella quickly packed their bags and followed Dad to Indianapolis. They arrived there Sunday night where they stayed with him at Methodist Hospital. It was determined by the neurosurgeons that surgery would be too invasive and could cause more complications. Since Sunday night, the doctors and nursing staff have kept a close eye on him, monitoring his cognitive functions, vitals. On Friday, he was moved out of the ICU and was thankfully accepted into the best rehabilitation program for his type of injury in the state of Indiana, (RHI- Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana).

This does not mean he is in the clear. Over time, his body should naturally absorb the blood that pooled in his brain and as that gradually happens, the symptoms of his injury should begin to diminish. In the mean time, he is obviously in A LOT of pain. His head, ribs and right hip and leg constantly hurt and he has been suffering from back spasms and soreness from being in bed for a week straight. He is still not able to sit up, stand up or walk on his own. Due to the weakness on the left side of his face compounded with his difficulty breathing due to the rib injury, he is on a diet of only thickened liquids. (I've been told that he really enjoys the strawberry flavored ensure shakes.)

Moving forward from this nothing is guaranteed. Once released from Methodist Hospital, Dad will be treated at RHI in their Traumatic Brain Injury unit. This entails constant care and rehab from a team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. He will likely be there for two to three weeks, maybe longer. There is no guarantee how much he will recover. Brain Injuries are extremely unpredictable and it is still too early to tell what kind of progress we can expect.

What we can expect is that the recovery process will be long, difficult and demanding for Dad and the rest of our family. My Dad is currently unable to go back to work. My Mom and sisters have taken steps to apply for disability for the short term but there is no guarantee how long he will be out of comission or if he will ever be well enough to return to his job at Zimmer Biomet. My mother has barely left his side since the injury and has missed over a week of work now. My sisters have also made significant sacrifices taking time away from their jobs to be with my parents. It has been difficult for me, living in Los Angeles to find a way home, but I was able to secure time off work and in a few weeks I will be joining my family in Indiana.

We have no idea how long this recovery process will take or what exactly it will be like, but we know for sure that we will need help from all of our friends and family. Dad has good insurance, but as we know all to well, having insurance does not necessarily make necessary healthcare affordable. On top of compounding medical expenses in different hospitals and the future costs of his rehabilitation, there are added costs for transportation. My Mom is unable to work right now because Dad needs constant attention. He is still not well enough to take care of himself and keep track of everything going on. Through his recovery, she will need to be with him to take him to appointments, doctors visits, and physical therapy.

There could also be the need for my parents to make renovations to the house to make it accessible for Dad. This could include wheel chair ramps, hand rails and renovations to make the bathrooms more accessible to him if he has continued physical issues. We honestly have no idea what to expect at this point. It is so early in the process that there will inevitably be setbacks we are unprepared for.

All of the money gathered from this campaign will be handled directly by our family and used only to help pay for my father's medical expenses and expenses related to his rehabilitation and recovery. We would not be asking for help unless we were sure we needed it. Dad has always been the bedrock of our family and a source of guidance and stability for us all and it is of the utmost importance for us all to support him now.

For those of you who know John, you know that he is an honest, gentle, generous and truly good man. Excluding certain Big Ten basketball officials, (I'm looking at you, Ted Valentine,) he has never wished harm on another person. I know many of you have been helped by him directly in times of need great and small.

Well, now he needs our help. Let's work together and show him how much he means to us all by helping him through the biggest challenge he has faced in his life. We all want to get him back to feeling like himself as soon as possible.
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Hope you are all ready for some good news!

Dad was finally released from the hospital today five and a half weeks after the accident! We are all glad to have him back, but he still has a long road ahead of him.

He is going to be staying in Bloomington with my mom and sisters. Their house is more accessible than my parents' house in Warsaw and since he still needs constant monitoring and help, my sisters will be able to aide my mom in his care. We have a long list of activities and some minor therapies that can be done from home to help him regain his mobility and cognitive abilities.

We recently hit the $20k benchmark on this fundraiser, which is HUGE! The scary thing is that it will likely barely make a dent in the expenses. There is a lot my dad needs to make his stay at home possible. This includes his medications, medical devices to help with accessibility, specially prepared food and continued physical and occupational therapy.

We have also still not seen the entirety of his hospital bills, but what we have seen so far is horrifying. I personally believe that nobody should ever face financial ruin in the wake of an accident such as this. I know many of his friends and family members have donated, but there might yet be some people who are not aware of what happened or haven't heard of the fundraising campaigns. If you want to help, please share the link around on social media, reach out to anyone who might be willing to pitch in.

Thank you all for your support. We are entering what may be the most crucial stretch of Dad's recovery. He's going to need all of the help he can get!
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Just wanted to drop in with a quick update.

Dad's treatment at RHI has been going well so far. The improvements are coming slowly, but there has been improvement and we all remain hopeful.

We also just started another cool fundraiser through MudLove. They are making and selling custom coffee mugs and bands made specifically with my dad in mind. The mugs are hand made and have a basketball printed on them. The bands are stamped with the word "fortitude", a word chosen by my mom and approved by dad.

You can check that out here: https://www.mudlove.com/products/ettingers-fight?variant=3870656790568

Thanks again for all of the donations. We are still all amazed that so many people are willing to help our family though this rough time.
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Thank you all for the support and donations.

Quick update on my Dad's condition. Earlier this week he was able to leave the ICU at Methodist and after about a day, he was transferred to RHI in Indianapolis.

He has been settling into his routine there and his team of therapists there have been keeping him on task and working hard to get him healthy. My Mom, Miranda and Marcella have seemed impressed with his therapists and doctors and they assure me that he's in good hands at RHI. He's going to be there for a few weeks longer. Once he's released, he will still likely need 24/7 care.

We are in the process of working with MudLove on another fundraiser. We will have more information on that shortly!

Again, we cannot state the gratitude we feel towards everyone who has pitched in and helped out. Dad has a long road ahead and every little contribution will help.
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I just wanted to reach out on behalf of my family and thank you all for the overwhelming support. In five days, we have raised over $11,000 to put towards John's medical expenses. On top of the donations, we have received many messages of support and encouragement from friends and strangers. I am personally proud of my Dad for living his life in such a way that so many people are willing to support him in this time of need. We are so grateful for everyone who wants to pitch in and help.

He's not out of the clear yet, though. He has been in the hospital for almost two weeks now, most of that time in critical care. Once he is well enough, the doctors will clear him to go to the rehab hospital and that's where the real work will begin.

While I'm stuck in LA away from my family, I want to do everything I can to keep this momentum and positive energy going. Working to raise money is pretty much the only thing that I've been able to do that helps me feel less helpless in this situation. Please share this page and help spread it around as much as possible. You never know who is going to hear my dad's story and feel compelled to donate.

Deepest thanks for all of your help so far. I am hoping that once Dad is feeling better, he will be able to look at what we've all been able to do for him and thank you himself.
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$21,472 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 218 people in 17 months
Created February 26, 2018
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